What is history without women? From Cleopatra’s political acumen, the Virgin Mary’s birth of the Child Jesus, to Marie Curie’s groundbreaking discoveries, women have had some of the biggest impact on world history and contemporary society. But often, their contributions and legacies are overlooked, and that’s precisely why International Women’s Month exists.
International Women’s Day intends to highlight women’s historical contributions. But beyond the modern celebratory frills, at its very core, it is a celebration of female empowerment and the ongoing fight for equality.
This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme is #BreakTheBias.
Bias, whether intentional or unconscious, makes it difficult for women to advance. Recognizing prejudice isn’t enough; action is required to level the playing field.
The Importance of Celebrating Women’s International Month from a Recruitment Perspective
Like in many industries, the recruitment sector is notoriously known to have an old boys club mentality. While at consultant level, there is an even playing field between genders, however, as you start to look at the gender gap moving up to more senior levels within the industry there are some clear gaps and work to be done within the sector and to help elevate more females into senior positions.
Numerous studies, including the notable Harvard Business Review 2012 review on female leadership positions, shows that not only were women every bit as effective as men, but they also scored significantly higher than men on majority of leadership competencies that were measured. Harvard researchers redid the review in 2019 with the same results.
Yet, the disturbing fact is that women are still being left behind in employment. Finding a job is far more difficult for women than it is for men worldwide. The current global labor force participation rate for women is under 47%.
There are many factors contributing to the dearth of women in the global labor market. For centuries, there have been cultural biases and negative stereotypes against women. Research has also shown that unconscious bias has a significant role in recruitment and promotion decisions, which contributes to fewer women in key positions.
As recruitment professionals, it is our responsibility to establish the standard for eradicating prejudice and bias while also encouraging the inclusion of all workers.
Celebrating the Achievements of Women in SaaS and eCommerce
It’s no secret that the technology sector struggles to attract women. Women have played a key role in technology and innovation, but their contributions and ideas are often neglected.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we look at the successes of women in the eCommerce and SaaS industry. These women faced challenges, persevered, and ultimately found success.
Some of the women and eCommerce brands who have inspired us are listed below:
Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, founders of Birchbox
Every beauty and self-care enthusiast knows Birchbox, the most famous makeup and beauty subscription box in the world. After meeting at Harvard Business School, the pair set out to tackle the problem of oversaturation in the beauty market by offering an inexpensive and efficient way for customers to explore new products. Since 2010, the pair has handled one million subscribers, earned $80 million in venture funding, and opened physical stores in Paris and New York.
Sharon Chuter, founder and CEO of UOMA Beauty
The Nigerian-born entrepreneur walked away from a comfortable corporate job after realizing beauty brands were not creating products that cater to diverse-enough audiences. She sold her house and dove headfirst into launching her brand. Uoma Beauty surprised the beauty world when it launched in 2019 with 51 shades of foundation in six custom formulas. The brand’s inclusive products have since won many awards, including Allure’s Best of Beauty and the Beauty Innovator Awards.
Frances Tang, founder and CEO of Awkward Essentials
The Asian-American entrepreneur, affectionally dubbed “Captain Awkward,” launched her sexual hygiene company Awkward Essentials in 2019 after creating the Dripstick, a medical-grade sponge that collects fluid in the vagina after intercourse. The company’s goal is to tackle problems in the taboo sex industry. She is now among the few women leading a revolution for female founders in the femtech and sex tech industries. Tang was a finalist at Yotpo’s Amazing Women in eCommerce awards 2021.
We’re also excited to see women-owned tech companies innovating and creating waves. Some of our favorite women-owned SaaS companies and tech professionals are:
Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva.
The 32-year-old Perkins is known as the richest self-made female billionaire in the world and among the youngest female CEOs in the tech industry. Her company, Canva is valued at a whopping $40 billion. This solidifies its position as one of the world’s largest privately-owned companies. The company is currently the fifth most valuable startup in the world, after only SpaceX, Stripe, ByteDance, and Klarna.
Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris
James initially aspired to be the first African American horse rider to compete in the Olympics, but her journey eventually led her to the $31 billion organic food market. She founded Mercaris, a market data service and trading platform for organic, non-GMO, and other certified agricultural commodities. The startup has raised $2.5 million on its latest Series A round. In 2009, she was appointed as a White House Fellow by President Barack Obama and then went on to consult for the Secretary of Agriculture. She was later named a ’40 under 40′ rising leader by Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine.
Katherine Kostereva, founder and CEO of Creatio
Kostereva is the trailblazing woman behind Creatio, a software company providing a leading low-code platform for process management & CRM. Her exceptional leadership has earned her numerous accolades, including being selected for the SaaS CEO recognition list for three consecutive years.
Deborah Hanus, founder and CEO of Sparrow
Hanus is an accomplished computer engineer and businesswoman. Her startup, Sparrow is a pioneer in Employee Care Management (ECM) and received an impressive 20 million dollars in funding this year. Before founding Sparrow, she was a Fulbright Scholar and graduated with three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Jarvis is in Solidarity of #BreakTheBias
Jarvis employees are striking the IWD 2022 #BreakTheBias pose to show our commitment to calling out bias, breaking inequality, smashing stereotypes, and rejecting discrimination.
Diversity is a core belief at Jarvis, and not in a “tick box” way like many organizations. We have carefully designed our business and our diversity strategy. We plan our hires carefully, and we have a culture that supports everyone free from biases.
Not only do we have a female-dominated board, but we also train our Talent Partners how to remove biases as part of their role in the recruitment process, both internally and for our clients.
Jarvis Recruitment Group not only strives to address diversity issues within our organization, but we also help other companies in doing so.
We offer consultancy and methods in diversity talent acquisition management. We have vast expertise conducting focused searches to improve diversity and help you in placing the right people in the right positions.
Meet, challenge, and defy expectations for International Women’s Day by getting in touch and developing your diverse hiring strategy.
Get in touch today to partner with us to find your dream role.